Grand Prize Loss & Win

Have you ever felt like something – a house, a job, a prize was yours? And then not gotten it?
Career Coach & Team Builder
Sarah-Jane VandenBerg, a published author and popular facilitator, with over 25 years experience with individuals in difficult and transitioning circumstances, has empowered thousands of people to make successful life changing career decisions. Her strengths of seeing possibilities, being intrigued by the unique qualities of individuals, and of communicating enable her to focus on you having a fun, enlightening and effective experience. She is known for her humorous and realistic approach in sharing her knowledge and wisdom.
December 11, 2020
I have. And recently too. But this time was different. The devastation was profound, deep and painful. I felt disappointed, bummed, sad, angry and cheated. I cried. Full-out ugly cried. I yelled too. I was so hurt. Something interesting happened too. Having shared my disappointment with a dear friend, she challenged my experience. And from that the rising was profound, deep and awesome and may inspire you to respond differently to a loss of a thing – like that job you really wanted.

Let’s take a step back a bit. From August until the end of October this year, I did an exceptional job of playing the victim. Lots of s*** happened: we started a renovation and had water pouring into our house, my mother-in-law died suddenly, my daughter was unable to come home for the funeral, my husband’s wedding band fell into the mud in a river and was not recovered, my glasses got dropped and disappeared into another part of the river, my husband was involved in a car accident that totalled his truck, I had a flat tire and I didn’t win the grand prize from a women’s event I attended. The prize felt like the last straw. Maybe, though, it was a release – to let out all the disappointment and sadness and pain from the last three months.

Why did that grand prize matter? Well, because I had “suffered” so much negative s***, I believed I deserved something good and this grand prize was it. This prize was my turn around. This prize was the message that God did indeed love me and the universe had my back. As I was writing in my journal, a whisper happened: What could I learn from this experience? This whisper stopped me cold. Why? Because the answers flew out: why am I looking externally for validation? How could I validate myself? How could I love myself? What else was so important about this prize? Well, I love getting gifts. This prize was one big gift! Were there gifts that I could give myself? Were there other ways I could bring joy to myself? Was I focussing on those activities? What did I really want from the prize pack? Could I purchase those or ask for them for Christmas?

I also acknowledged that a lot of good things had happened too: I was able to squeegee water for four hours without loosing any income, our family worked cohesively to plan a funeral, my daughter and nephew who are out of the country were able to view the funeral live, I got new glasses, my husband was not seriously injured in his car accident, I had CAA who came quickly and fixed my tire, I obtained a new income stream, I got accepted into a business mentorship program which also gave me access to a $5000 grant for business costs and, maybe, most importantly, I found a tribe of fabulous females.

That house, that prize, that job that you thought was yours, but you didn’t get. That thing that devastated you, that crushed you, that’s not the end. That’s not all there is. You see, I also was reminded of another gift: “This or something more”. It is a phrase that some wise people say at the end of stating their desires. Why? It acknowledges that we don’t always know how absolutely truly amazing an experience or person or house or job could be. It acknowledges that sometimes our imagination is limited to what we know and there is something better – something more for us.

Since that loss, I have been envisioning beautiful, full, productive, happy, serving, joyful days. I have been regularly writing in a gratitude journal. I also had a really honest conversation with my husband and he firmly said that we simply can’t let those negative experiences take hold, because they will destroy us. We must accept that sometimes s*** happens, figure out how to solve the problem and move on. I have and you won’t believe what has happened….

Remember “This, or something more?” Well, that happened. You see, one of the items in the grand prize was a necklace and earrings set which was made with semi precious stones and crystals and infused with Reiki energy. The set was called “Hope and Courage”. It was something I was unlikely to buy for myself and it spoke to me, but I didn’t win, right? Hmmmm. One Friday night in November, I received a text from one of the winners of the grand prize. She asks if I had won anything from the event. I said I hadn’t won a “thing” and I had really grown from the experience. I asked why she was asking. She said, “You had made a comment that you could see yourself already wearing the necklace.” You know the end now, don’t you? She went on, “I had made a commitment to the Universe that if I won, I would gift this necklace to you.” YUP!!!!! Tears flowed again. This time of utter wonder, awe and happiness. “This is something more”!

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Myths & Truths of Work

Myth

The academically smarter you are, the more money you will make.

Truth

People without academic success can be high income earners.